Often our Greensboro home insurance policyholders have questions regarding what constitutes an “act of God” as it refers to insurance coverage and exactly how they’re protected. You might consider a lightning bolt striking your home as an act of God as well as the accompanying hurricane that inundates your residence with rain and wind. If a tree is knocked down and damages your home’s roof wouldn’t this also be considered an act of God? These are good questions and, hopefully, we can clear up any misunderstanding here in this blog post.

According to a popular definition found in the Business Dictionary, an act of God is unpredictable, inevitable and unreasonably severe. It’s caused by natural forces, without human intervention, and without human control. Acts of God are also sometimes referred to as acts of nature or forces majeure. Some examples are snowstorms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and lightning strikes.

What’s Covered and What’s Not?

Many people may mistakenly believe that their home insurance covers them for virtually any costly loss they may suffer regarding their home and this just isn’t true. You should have a copy of your policy and read it thoroughly, particularly the portion that deals with limitations or exclusions. If you’re unclear about anything it’s best to consult with your Greensboro home insurance agent for clarification.

The term “act of God” is not generally found in typical home insurance policy wording but, from the definition we explained, you can rest assured that your policy likely covers your home for these acts of nature with two specific exclusions – floods and earthquakes.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is coverage that’s separate from a standard homeowners policy and is regulated through the U.S. government’s FEMA National Flood Insurance Program. While the addition of flood insurance to your homeowner’s coverage is voluntary, if you live in an area where floods are an increased risk, your mortgage holder may require that you carry this insurance on your home. This protects their financial interest in your home. It’s up to you whether or not you add the coverage to protect your personal possessions within the home as well.

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake damage is typically excluded from standard homeowner’s insurance and must be purchased separately. Cost for this insurance depends primarily upon the location of the insured structure and the likelihood of an earthquake occurring in this area. Consult your agent for further information.